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Waiting Times

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Cancer Waiting Times

Latest Publications

Published: 26 September 2017
Cancer Waiting Times
Publication Summary Download pdf file [243kb]
Full Report Download pdf file [688kb]
Get the data, click for Monthly Prescribing Open Data


From 2011 the cancer waiting time targets, as decided by the Scottish Government, are as follows:

  • 62-day target from receipt of referral to treatment for all cancers. This applied to each of the following groups:
    • any patients urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer by their primary care clinician (for example GP) or dentist
    • any screened-positive patients who are referred through a national cancer screening programme (breast, colorectal or cervical)
    • any direct referral to hospital where the signs and symptoms are consistent with the cancer diagnosed as per the Scottish Referral Guidelines (for example self-referral to A&E)
  • 31-day target from decision to treat until first treatment for all cancers, no matter how patients were referred. For breast cancer, this replaced the previous 31-day diagnosis to treatment target.

Performance against these targets was achieved by December 2011; the timescale agreed by the Scottish Government. These targets are considered as National Standards from 1st April 2012.

This page relates to cancer waiting times information. For all other cancer information, follow this link

Consultation Response

A consultation Download PDF file was carried out on the format, content and timeliness of the cancer waiting times publication. The consultation closed on 15 March 2015. The findings to the consultation are presented together with ISD’s response. Work is ongoing with ISD’s smart publishing improvement programme to prepare for the proposed changes.

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